Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Opulent is Out; Small and Green is In

3/4/2011 1:10:36 PM

Tags: small homes, tiny house movement, not so big house, Allentown Morning Call, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailOver the past year or so, since the economy crashed, we’ve been encouraged by Americans’ disenchantment with inefficient, unsatisfying McMansions and evidence that they’re seeking smaller, greener homes and home features instead. A National Association of Home Builders survey found that after 30 years of continual growth, average single-family home size had declined from 2,520 square feet in 2008 to 2,480 square feet in 2009. An American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey showed more homeowners eschewing upscale amenities in favor of flexible, open and informal spaces that allow for easy movement and family living. The not-so-big and tiny house movements are exploding.

In this morning’s Allentown Morning Call, reporter Dawn Klingensmith offers more good local anecdotes that illustrate this trend. Opulence is out, she reports, and mini-castles aren’t selling. “People don’t like to display evidence of wealth in their houses anymore,” San Diego real estate broker Marian Anthony said.

“Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances were very popular in the past,” Chicago realtor Eileen Casey said. “But now more eco-friendly countertops and energy-saving appliances and fixtures are in, along with other eco-friendly choices.”

Dana Wolter, an interior designer in Birmingham, Alabama, reports that most of her clients “would rather have a smaller home with better-quality finishes than a large house with spec home amenities.”

We may not be getting richer these days, but we’re certainly getting smarter.


Richlite Company's paper-composite countertop made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper is a solid alternative to overused granite. Photo courtesy Richlite 



Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.